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  Sports   In Other sports  28 Dec 2016  Dangal brought us instant fame, says Geeta Phogat

Dangal brought us instant fame, says Geeta Phogat

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 28, 2016, 12:58 am IST
Updated : Dec 28, 2016, 6:37 am IST

The Phogat family is revelling in the movie’s success and the fame and adulation that comes with it.

Uttar Pradesh Dangal’s Amit Dhankar, Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, Amit Dahiya pose along with coach Mahavir Phogat at the logo launch of the Pro Wrestling League team in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: Biplab Banerjee)
 Uttar Pradesh Dangal’s Amit Dhankar, Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, Amit Dahiya pose along with coach Mahavir Phogat at the logo launch of the Pro Wrestling League team in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: Biplab Banerjee)

New Delhi: The success of Aamir Khan–starrer Dangal has not only earned praise from reel stars but also from the real stars — wrestlers Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari and their father-cum-coach Mahavir Singh Phogat on whom the movie is based.

The Phogat family is revelling in the movie’s success and the fame and adulation that comes with it. “People use to know Geeta and Babita earlier as well. But most used to recognise us by name and not so much by face. But after this movie got released… the masses recognise us very easily, we have also became celebrities. We became famous instantly,” Geeta told this newspaper at an event here on Tuesday. “The work on the movie started after I won the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold when director Nitesh Tiwari came to the national camp in Patiala and we had a chat at a nearby coffee shop. It took around six years to make a movie and it was worth it,” added Geeta, the first woman wrestler from the country to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

Asked whether the movie was entirely based on their lives or were there some alterations, younger of the two Babita said, “Whatever has been shown in the movie is 99 per cent true… only 1 per cent is fiction to make it more interesting and to add masala to it.” The movie, besides focusing on their wrestling and the gruelling schedule, also showed some of the-lesser known incidents. One of them was how Mahavir was locked up in a room to stop him from watching his daughter’s bout at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Geeta revealed, “The sequence in the movie where Aamir was locked up in a room was inspired by a real story. My father was not locked up as has been shown in the movie, but was stopped from entering the arena where our bout was taking place.” ‘Our ultimate aim is to win an Olympic medal’

Movie promotions and the Pro Wrestling League may have kept the Phogat sisters very busy, but when asked whether these things affect their focus, they answered in the negative. “We cannot hamper our training at all as we are here because of wrestling and without training our performance got affected. Yes, it happens we train once rather than twice a day. Even today we attended our morning training and came for this event,” Babita said.

The sisters have set their eyes on climbing the podium at the Olympics and are determined to return with a medal from the 2020 Games in Tokyo. “We have started our preparations. Our aim for the year is to do well in the Asian Championship and the World Championship. In 2018 we have the Asian Games and the CWG but our ultimate goal is to win medals at the 2020 Tokyo Games. I will strive hard for the Olympic medal because that will the most prized possession of my life,” she said.

Tags: aamir khan, dangal, mahavir singh phogat, geeta phogat
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi